Hello! My name is Tomás O’Sullivan, and I am a research fellow on the T-PEN project.
I hail from Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland, and hold degrees in Medieval History and in Theology from University College Cork and Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. I am currently based in the Department of Theological Studies and the Center for Digital Theology at Saint Louis University, where I cut my digital teeth over the last few years working on the Electronic Norman Anonymous Project with Jim Ginther and Jon Deering.
My research interests focus on the ecclesiastical culture of early medieval Ireland within its Insular and European contexts, with particular concentration on homilies, eschatology (conceptions of the end of the world and the afterlife) and hagiography (writings about the saints). My PhD dissertation examines a distinct collection of Insular homilies which survives in four manuscripts copied on the Continent in the ninth century; these manuscripts will form the basis for my test-case to run T-PEN through its paces as development proceeds. I’ll also function as the technical writer for the project, creating a user manual to accompany the final product.
Transcribing and editing the anonymous Latin homilies of the early Middle Ages is a daunting task, as these sermons were often composed from a variety of textual extracts and images which could be combined and recombined in a kaleidoscope of patterns; I’ve taken to using the phrase “microtexts in motion” to describe this situation where, very often, there is no such thing as a “stable” text. I’m excited about the possibility of using T-PEN’s automated encoding and personalized mark-up features to rein in these mobile microtexts. I’m confident that if T-PEN can help me tame these anonymous homilies, it should be able to handle anything!